"Infandous street corner Cromwell"
March 23, 2009 6:41 AM   Subscribe

"Infandous street corner Cromwell" George Galloway MP banned from entering Canada. Justified on 'National Security' grounds, specifically Section 34(1) of the Immigration Act. George Galloway reacts to Canadian Immigraton Spokesman Alykhan Velshi on Channel 4. Velshi suggests this is 'not a freedom of speech issue' but in this day and age of technology is the notion of banning individuals crossing geographical borders due to opinions held absurd. It would seem the Canadian Government think not. Intellectual Protectionism rears its head and the marmite of international politics basks in the publicity. Domestic navel gazing ensues.
posted by numberstation (102 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Horace Rumpole suggests this is 'oddly worded, editorializing FPP'.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:46 AM on March 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, it's dumb, but what do you expect? I love Canada whole hell of a lot, and as an immigrant I feel privileged to live and work here, but folks are fooling themselves if they think that Canada has free speech.
posted by the dief at 6:47 AM on March 23, 2009


The fact that this fascist, faux left (unless you think violently racist, homophobic and misogynist totalitarian philosphies not from the West are exotic, cute and compatible with Marxism) clown got more publicity from this shows the fail. He is living proof that the UK's 1980s 'Loony Left' was always more about power and acclaim than principle. Thus rather closer to fascism than social democracy.
posted by The Salaryman at 6:56 AM on March 23, 2009


MetaFilter: the marmite of international politics
posted by DU at 6:57 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


the marmite of international politics basks in the publicity

Hunh? I mean, I know what marmite is, but hunh?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:03 AM on March 23, 2009


Canadians are awesome. I work with two of them actually, a really sweet couple.

Canadians lecturing Americans on how we're all fascists?

Yeah, not so awesome. I guess I'm trying not to be too smug about this.

USA! USA! USA!
posted by bardic at 7:06 AM on March 23, 2009


The Vegemite of international intrigue.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:06 AM on March 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


The Parwill of war by other means?

(Alvy: "Provokes strong reactions of either love or hate", I think)
posted by Leon at 7:11 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, like the Gnutella of internation politics, I see. Thanks, Leon!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:15 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


On a personal note – for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home

Dear George, thank you for your attempt at a simile however after further consideration we have decided not to progress with your application. We hope that you will continue to use the English language for all your future communication needs. On a personal note you should consider researching the difference between immigration and emigration.
posted by Molesome at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Canada: Scotland's Crash Pad.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:20 AM on March 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


canada: less freedom, more donuts
posted by pyramid termite at 7:28 AM on March 23, 2009


I hear Tim Horton's revoked his frequent customer card as well.
posted by bardic at 7:33 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Salaryman, you know what else is closer to fascism than social democracy? The BNP.
posted by symbioid at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2009


more publicity from this shows the fail

I can't even parse that.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2009


Funny, I saw him speak at the University of Toronto back in 2005, I think it was. He's kind of an idiot. But barring him from entering the country is ... well ... more idiotic. Obviously.
posted by molecicco at 7:39 AM on March 23, 2009


infandous
a. [L. infandus; pref. in- not + fari to speak.]

Too odious to be expressed or mentioned.


Ok. Carry on, wtf Canada and all that.
posted by mediareport at 7:42 AM on March 23, 2009


For those confused by the Marmite references, they used to have an advertising campaign saying 'Marmite - you either love it or you hate it'. It's now used about anything that polarises people, much like George Fucking Galloway. And no, I'm not that fond of Marmite either.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:44 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, the Globe and Mail, which is our national "thought leader" is criticizing the Conservative government for barring Galloway from entering Canada, but only because barring this angry twit just publicizes his cockamamie causes.

Michael Ignatieff, the Opposition (Liberal) leader, is also using this as an opportunity to distance himself from his support of the Bush administration, the invasion of Iraq, and torture.

Awesomeness all around.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:44 AM on March 23, 2009


Bill Ayers was also denied entry, but at least he had actually broken the law (if not convicted)
posted by delmoi at 7:45 AM on March 23, 2009


I'm not convinced that his barring was primarily due to the Conservative government. He was denied by the border security, and the government refused to overrule them. Now it's possible that there's been influence at the CBSA, it's often hard to tell. But I strongly believe that Kinney [Immigration Minister] did the right thing in refusing to overrule on political grounds. A non-political bureaucracy is important.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:53 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Coming at the same time our Immigration Minister suggested immigrants who can't speak English or French should be denied citizenship, it seems the new Canada bears little resemblance to the open, welcoming society we pretend to be.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:03 AM on March 23, 2009


How can Ayers be said to have broken the law if he was not convicted?
Why don't we take over Canada and teach them how real democracy functions?
posted by Postroad at 8:04 AM on March 23, 2009


I've always had something of a soft spot for Galloway, even though he is a bit of a showboat.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:11 AM on March 23, 2009


I'm not a fan of Mr Galloway, but I see little to be gained from banning him. The publicly-spouted reason was that he was apparently coming to Toronto to appear at a fundraiser for Hamas, which in Canada is classed as a terrorist organization.

Hey world, not all of us Canadians are afraid of frank, open discussion. As long as it's polite. Thank-you and good day.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:17 AM on March 23, 2009


Bill Ayers was also denied entry, but at least he had actually broken the law (if not convicted)

Galloway has personally delivered cash to Hamas, considered a terrorist organization in both the UK and Canada. In fact, if the UK had an ounce of integrity left, he would be in court already.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:17 AM on March 23, 2009


Too true symboid. I think Gorgeous George and Nick Griffin should become a double act, or at least share a stage from time to time. It would be like having modern fascism in stereo - far left, far right, mixed up bedfellows all together in a perfect goose-stepping harmony of hate. Could win the Turner Prize, if not a few Council seats.
posted by The Salaryman at 8:20 AM on March 23, 2009


> Bill Ayers was also denied entry, but at least he had actually broken the law (if not convicted)

He was barred based on the publicity deriving from his demonization during last summer's Presidential campaign. Charges related to his time in the Weather Underground were dismissed and he did not stand trial.

Effectively, Ayers was barred on grounds of a criminal record he does not have.
posted by ardgedee at 8:30 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gaining entry to a foreign country is not a right. Never has been.
I don't see how this makes Canada look bad at all. He can just raise his money elsewhere.
posted by rocket88 at 8:32 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech and Freedom of Expression - from a debate at Hart House, University of Toronto, regarding a subsection of Canadian law that made illegal certain types of "hate" speech.

Ayers was barred on grounds of a criminal record he does not have.
This x 10. Canada has gone of the rails. WTF is going on when our neighbors to the north are the ones less free?

posted by wfrgms at 8:39 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Galloway has personally delivered cash to Hamas, considered a terrorist organization in both the UK and Canada. In fact, if the UK had an ounce of integrity left, he would be in court already.

Hamas isn't banned in the UK as far as I am aware. Anyone know for sure?
posted by Leon at 8:41 AM on March 23, 2009


He really personally gave cash to Hamas? Is there a source for that?
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:46 AM on March 23, 2009


Canada seems to be losing its smart. They missed a real opportunity here.

'Mr. Galloway? Yes, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting -- you can come into my office now and we'll discuss this matter. I know you've been waiting here for several hours, and I want to express my deepest apologies for that as well as the apologies of the Canadian government. Yes, we've decided to process your paperwork -- you can certainly enter the country. The only trouble is, we've got to order more request-for-entry forms from Ottawa, and we happen to be out of paper for the printer to print out the citizenship authorizations, and also the notary is out with a cold until at least next Tuesday, so the thing is... well, the upshot is, we can really only admit you to Nunavut for the moment, but we'll try to straighten this thing out as quickly as we can. In the meantime, we've got a charter flight up to Baker Lake all ready for you outside -- you can leave whenever you like. We even have a nice cabin set up for you. What's that? Oh, don't worry about that. We'll call you when we have all the paperwork cleared up down here. Shouldn't be long at all, though I suppose I can't make any promises.'
posted by koeselitz at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Proscribed Terrorist Groups (UK):

Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades:
Hamas aims to end Israeli occupation in Palestine and establish an Islamic state.


Same Hamas?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2009


It's called delivering aid to the democratically elected government of a very beleaguered and needy populace. Good lord, Krrrlson. Get over yourself.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hamas isn't banned in the UK as far as I am aware. Anyone know for sure?

Eh, only the military wing is proscribed, but that doesn't exactly scream 'safe' for the rest of it.
posted by Sova at 8:50 AM on March 23, 2009


I think it's the paramilitary wing. Same deal as the Sinn Fein/IRA split. Was hoping for someone with a bit more knowledge to pop up.
posted by Leon at 8:50 AM on March 23, 2009


eustacescrubb, apparently so:

British MP gives money, vehicles to Hamas in Gaza
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 8:51 AM on March 23, 2009


Burhanistan: 'It's called delivering aid to the democratically elected government of a very beleaguered and needy populace.'

BBBBBUT HAMASSSSSS!!!!!

(amidoinitrite?)
posted by mullingitover at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2009


I would say, 'How dare they!' But given the fact that Gorgeous Geert was similarly banned form the UK, I would feel hypocrticial (not that I don't disagree with that too, just it seems like banning each other's MPs is a la mode).
posted by Sova at 8:54 AM on March 23, 2009


It's called delivering aid to the democratically elected government of a very beleaguered and needy populace. Good lord, Krrrlson. Get over yourself.

It's called illegally aiding and abetting a gang of murderers by bypassing standard aid channels which try -- although quite ineffectively -- to prevent the aid money from going towards weapons used to murder both Israelis and Palestinians.

You support said gang of murderers and declare this at every opportunity, we get it. Get over yourself.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2009


It's called illegally aiding and abetting

It's not a proscribed organisation in the UK, where he started, and it's the closest thing Palestine, where he actually did the deed, has to an elected government. Where's the illegal?

You've got me defending that tit Galloway now. I feel slimy.
posted by Leon at 9:04 AM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


You support said gang of murderers and declare this at every opportunity

You just love winning hearts and minds with such tempered language, don't you? Are you going to spew invective and then leave the thread once your remarks have again proven misguided?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2009


Hey, now that we've worked out infandous and Marmite, could someone fill in my ignorance about what they're trying to imply by calling him Cromwell?
posted by Reverend John at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2009


WTF is going on when our neighbors to the north are the ones less free?

Why don't we take over Canada and teach them how real democracy functions?

How many parties were represented in your leaders' debates last election? Was it less than 5? Apparently the last eight years still apparently failed to teach some people about making snap judgements about other nations.

Folks: George Fucking Bush was your President six months ago. Dial it down, ok? Harper's a goon, thanks for the tip, but we've got this one.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get some free oppressive healthcare.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2009 [16 favorites]


George Galloway MP banned from entering Canada.

Good.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on March 23, 2009


BTW if they really wanted to get silence his voice they'd have arrange him an opportunity to appear in a crappy reality TV show whenever it looked like he was going to make a speech or anything - he's utterly unable to resist.
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


wfrgms:
This x 10. Canada has gone of the rails. WTF is going on when our neighbors to the north are the ones less free?
"

The current government only had support from 38% of the country in the last election. Can we maybe not decide that the whole country are fascists because an immigration official did something?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2009


eustacescrubb: He really personally gave cash to Hamas? Is there a source for that?

Yeah -- plenty of sources. Very polarized, though. Is it funding for terrorists or humanitarian aid?

Either way, I think it's clear that George Galloway's a fruit bat. Viddy this ridiculous scuffle he was involved in:

Amid a volatile exchange over whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, the leftist British lawmaker George Galloway abruptly booted WND's Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein and radio talk-host Rusty Humphries from his London office and handed them over to Parliament police, claiming the two were Zionist operatives who had breached security by falsely presenting themselves as reporters.

I honestly don't believe that he thinks he's funding terrorism or any kind of killing, regardless of whatever may have happened to the millions in aid that he brought to Gaza (hint: a lot of stuff probably went to very few people). But if you're shooting to disassociate yourself from terrorism, extremism and racism, freaking out and accusing people of being secret Zionist agents is probably not the best way to do it.

Of course I agree with the Canadian government's sentiments. There must have been some other way to do this.

But at least this all brought us this fantastic image (from my 'funding for terrorists' link above):

Galloway is vowing to still speak to Canadians. "I'll come to the Canadian border and I will be heard ... whether it's by megaphone ... or through the new technology that now exists. This here-today-gone-tomorrow minister will not stop me being heard," he told the Star.

As tempting as the image of George Galloway with a megaphone shouting at distant Toronto may be, I'm sure that the reference to 'new technology that now exists' indicates that George's operatives have finally perfected IPoGBAB - Internet Protocol over Gallowegian Bluster And Bombast.
posted by koeselitz at 9:13 AM on March 23, 2009


Can we maybe not decide that the whole country are fascists because an immigration official did something?

If this results in shrill Americans from pompously announcing their intention to move to Canada the next time the USA goes off the rails, this may not be such a bad thing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:21 AM on March 23, 2009


... results in discouraging shrill Americans...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2009


could someone fill in my ignorance about what they're trying to imply by calling him Cromwell?

I suspect it's a reference to the Cromwell-led parliamentary conquest of Ireland (after the English civil war) which was extremely brutal, with anything up to 50% of the population killed or fled, though how much Cromwell was responsible for is strongly debated. He's certainly an unpopular historical figure in Ireland to this day.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2009


Burhanistan: It's called delivering aid to the democratically elected government of a very beleaguered and needy populace. Good lord, Krrrlson. Get over yourself.

Jesus, folks -- we can agree, can't we, that it's more complex than "FUNDING TERRORIZM!!" or "FIGHTING FOR FREEDUM!!", right?

I appreciate the sentiment that we ought to help the Palestinians recover from the horrifying things they had to experience during this conflict. But it's pretty clear that delivering all this stuff to Hamas is just monumentally stupid; yeah, sure, democratically elected, blah blah blah, but Bush was democratically elected (at least this last time around) and I'm not sending him any cigars. Hamas, no matter what you may think of their past military actions, has a documented history of 'reappropriating' aid funds and goods. Better to give funds to the UN or another international organization that can make sure that Gaza is rebuilt. But... well, giving $1.1 million to the UN to help Palestine is just too damned quiet for old George.

The silliness of giving money directly to Hamas has led some to call Mr. Galloway a terrorist by proxy, but I honestly don't think that terrorism enters his mind at all. There's not room. Besides, when things like this happen, it's clear that he's not thinking 'I'm doing the right thing here' or 'I hope they kill the Jews' or even 'I sure hope this aid helps the Palestinians;' he's thinking 'gosh, I sure strike a mighty noble figure standing up to the British government and daring them to arrest me. It was such a good idea to bring all these cameras along!'
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 AM on March 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's silly to ban him from a country, but my feeling is that George Galloway is a waste or organs.

Second, if we are using the standard that he should be in prison for distributing cash to a terrorist organization then there should be a whole swathe of Irish-Americans who should have served time for basically bankrolling IRA terrorism. If the US had any integrity left etc. etc. Or were they freedom fighters? Shit, I get so confused these days. Lemme get this right, IRA=freedom fighters, Hamas=scum of the earth terrorists. Have it got it now?
posted by ob at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I get the strong feeling that Galloway doesn't give two shits about the Palestinian people. He's an anti-Zionist through and through, and as much as I support the Palestinian cause, I'm glad he's not in Canada stirring that shit here.
posted by rocket88 at 9:36 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have no idea how this fits into the dicussion, but this just in: Ottawa demands Fox apology for 'despicable' comments
posted by KokuRyu at 9:39 AM on March 23, 2009


Also, for those who liked 'the marmite of international politics,' here is an assortment of other spread- and condiment-based metaphors from which you may pick and choose:

the peanut butter of national sovereignty
the grape jelly of judicial activism
the cranberry chutney of free-market economics
the guacamole of non-governmental agencies
the mayonnaise of Palestinian repatriation
the pickle relish of shifting regimes
the blueberry jam of foreign policy
the orange marmalade of international aid organizations
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


Orange Pamplemousse, & koeselitz - thanks.

That clears it up... the media (and Canada and Galloway) are all sensationalizing it -- it's kind of like saying my taxes are going directly to the Democratic Party.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:53 AM on March 23, 2009


Don't forget the Salsa of Sedition
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I get the strong feeling that Galloway doesn't give two shits about the Palestinian people.

Yeah, he gave those Palestinians some ambulances just to spite'em.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:01 AM on March 23, 2009


So Galloway has been denied entry to Canada for his support of a people under siege, who have/had a democratically elected government. So, yeah, the democratically elected government is a bunch of terrorists, but whose idea was it to push for elections in Gaza to begin with?
posted by Xoebe at 10:06 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Galloway has personally delivered cash to Hamas, considered a terrorist organization in both the UK and Canada. In fact, if the UK had an ounce of integrity left, he would be in court already.

And yet being active in Sinn Fein gets you a visit with the US President. When will you be agitating for everyone who gave money to the IRA to be imprisoned?
posted by rodgerd at 10:09 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


infandous
a. [L. infandus; pref. in- not + fari to speak.]

Too odious to be expressed or mentioned.


Bummer, I was hoping it was a portmanteau of infantile and horrendous.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:11 AM on March 23, 2009


Galloway has personally delivered cash to Hamas, considered a terrorist organization in both the UK and Canada. In fact, if the UK had an ounce of integrity left, he would be in court already.

Hamas isn't banned in the UK as far as I am aware. Anyone know for sure?

Eh, only the military wing is proscribed, but that doesn't exactly scream 'safe' for the rest of it.



Krrlson is wrong, and needs to get his facts straight. Hamas is NOT considered a terrorist org in the UK, only the Hezbollah wing of hamas is.

Yeah...it doesn't exactly scream "safe"...but Gerry Adams, of Sinn Fein (political wing of IRA) goes around speaking at colleges...is that still unsafe for you?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:11 AM on March 23, 2009


Artful Codger: Yeah, he gave those Palestinians some ambulances just to spite'em.

Why are you defending George Galloway? Defend Palestine if you must defend something. George Galloway gave the Palestinians ambulances so that he would look dashing before the small segment of the British public that dotes on him and to express his loathing of 'Zionists'. People can do good things for ridiculous reasons; hell, my sense is that most politicians only do good things for ridiculous reasons.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on March 23, 2009


Krrlson is wrong, and needs to get his facts straight. Hamas is NOT considered a terrorist org in the UK, only the Hezbollah wing of hamas is.

Let's scrub our own posts of factual errors before trying to come down on others: Hezbollah and Hamas are both Islamist groups with a sizable militant component and aligned goals, but they have no organizational connection. That said, per wikipedia they do get along pretty well, with financial and training relationships.
posted by monocyte at 10:21 AM on March 23, 2009


While I'm no particular fan of Galloway, this decision doesn't seem consistent with the legislation quoted in the article, which says that an individual can be banned for engaging in acts of violence, terror, espionage and so on; or for being a member of an organisation that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in [those] acts. I can't see how Galloway can qualify under any of those, unless you think that the Respect Party (or the House of Commons) is a terrorist organisation. The only possible argument is 'being a danger to the security of Canada'. I mean, really? One old guy, a member of the British Parliament? He's that much of a danger to Canada that you refuse him entry?

[Note that whether or not he gave money to Hamas, and whether or not Hamas is a banned terrorist organisation, is pretty much irrelevant - he would have to be a member of Hamas himself for those clauses of the Act to apply]
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:24 AM on March 23, 2009


... I mean, come on:

"... we make no apology for what I am about to say. We are giving them to the elected government of Palestine," Galloway said at a press conference in Gaza City... "I say now to the British and European governments, if you want to take me to court I promise you there is no jury in all of Britain who will convict me. They will convict you."

It's obvious he didn't do this for the benefit of the Palestinians. He didn't even address the Palestinians at a press conference in their country. He did this for the benefit of 'the British and European governments' (as a big 'fuck you' to them) and in order to look like a dashing chap.
posted by koeselitz at 10:25 AM on March 23, 2009


Yeah, he gave those Palestinians some ambulances just to spite'em.<>

Not to spite them, but definitely to spite his political opponents in Britain and Europe. Just read the article you linked to see his real motivation.

posted by rocket88 at 10:28 AM on March 23, 2009


...on non-preview, what koeselitz said...
posted by rocket88 at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2009


Yeah, as far as I'm concerned there's no way in the world that George Galloway cares for anything apart from himself. Governments shouldn't give him the oxygen that he needs.
posted by ob at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Why are you defending George Galloway? ... George Galloway gave the Palestinians ambulances so that he would look dashing before the small segment of the British public that dotes on him and to express his loathing of 'Zionists'.

If I was hungry and someone gave me food, I'd probably eat it, regardless of the reasons for which it was given.

I don't care for Galloway either, but If he gave them 'x' ambulances, that's 'x' more ambulances than you or I gave to Palestinians. Until Hamas starts lobbing ambulances into Israel, it's hard to see that action as aiding terrorists.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:36 AM on March 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


NYT: Canada Bars ‘Infandous’ British Politician, Journalists Reach for Dictionaries



"Sue Turton of Channel 4 News called Mr. Velshi to find out more about the thinking behind the ban and what led him to use the long-obsolete word “infandous” — which the Oxford English dictionary defines as a word that once meant “Unspeakable, not to be spoken of; nefarious,” but apparently fell out of use some time after 1708.

In video of the telephone interview Ms. Turton conducted on Friday with Mr. Velshi (embedded below), he suggested that he just might be “behind” the times in word usage."
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:45 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


True, North, Strong, and Free.

Well, we still have North going for us.
posted by mazola at 10:48 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


“behind” the times in word usage.

Pish and Tish! I, for one, will be using "infandous" in the future. To that end, I can inform that I found something "infandous" in the Refrigerating Machine this very morn.
posted by ob at 10:53 AM on March 23, 2009


CunningLinguist, Velshi is just looking back to the last time the Scots were denied entry into (what would become) Canada, which would have been when eastern Canada was French. That was ceded to the British by the treaty of Utrecht, 1713 or so, and thus it makes perfect sense!

Trust me on this, it makes sense?
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:59 AM on March 23, 2009


if degree of self-interest was the criteria by which we admit foreigners, this country would be full of.... indians.
posted by klanawa at 11:01 AM on March 23, 2009


The channel 4 clip ends with some really disturbing, McCarthyist statements from the JDL spokesperson:
"We will be looking into these organizations in Canada that have invited him [Galloway], their links to terror groups as well."

"And therefore, and if he uses those other means, we will see to it that the Canadian government will be monitoring every individual and organization that will have anything to do with it ..."
The blog Pogge.ca notes some irony in the HarperCons taking direction from the JDL on this issue:
... organizations like the Canadian Jewish Congress have distanced themselves from the local spawn of the Jewish Defence League (JDL), which the FBI called "a violent extremist Jewish organization" in their report Terrorism 2000/2001 and whose activities have since been described in congressional testimony by FBI agents as terrorist. Kenney may or may not know that Weinstein, under his pseudonym Meir Halevi, spoke in 1994 as the Canadian representative of the banned Israeli party Kach, refusing to condemn Baruch Goldstein's massacre of dozens of Palestinians at prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:08 AM on March 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can't speak to all of Galloway's politics, but can offer a single, highly subjective data point.

I live on an inner city estate in Central London (Whitechapel, Zone 2, Postal Code E1). The estate, perhaps 50% Bengali, another 5% Somalian, another 5% Indian and the remainder English but all relatively poor, was transferred to an RSL about three years ago. It has been going downhill ever since, daily maintenance not carried out in many (but not all!) blocks, rents and service charges (its a mixed rental tenant / leaseholder estate) increasing, sometimes sharply (especially so in the case of service charges) even as services received decline.

The RSL has a puppet board in place; to a man Cockney, long time residents, mostly OAPs and all folks that couldn't read an income statement or balance sheet to save their lives, but supposedly "manage" the RSL's activities on the estate for the benefit of the residents. UhHuh.

I got involved when I noticed a huge disparity between any building with Cockneys or puppet board members and a similar building that is mostly non white. Disparity as in non whites don't get the same services such as locking doors or regular cleaning.

So anyhow, starting last August I helped organise three Residents Associations (one, which I chair represents leaseholders, one is solely for Bangladeshis and one for a specific block) and we're slowly pulling off a coup down here, kicking the old time racists off their perch (and hopefully to the curb). We're running a fairly effective media campaign, ranging from online (adwords, multiple blogs) to traditional print and youtube channel, ethnic cable TV show for video.

Since I'm very comfortable speaking publicly I've presented about these problems at a couple of Local Council meetings, going back next month even, and we're leveraging the media arm to generally get the RSL all sorts of bad press. Neither the RSL nor the puppet board like us much.

Anyhow, the only party that has consistently offered time and support has been The Respect Party and Galloway himself. They've had people down here on the estate several times, photo ops to be sure, but Labour hasn't helped as much and, at times, even (rather inexplicably) defends the RSL.

Respect is doing lots for the cause I've reluctantly picked up down here in E1. I say reluctantly as someone has to help, most of those worst off don't speak English (Banglay kotha boli? Ami Banglay notun!), are dirt poor and The Respect Party / George himself is the only group of people that will set foot on this estate, especially so after midnight when the street yobs get into full swing and things get a little bad (even though thats a relative phrase).

I used to be a biker before I became a banker, lived in New York for about thirteen years when The LES was a genuinely dangerous place to wander about in. I put on my old clothes and don't get intimidated by the loud drug using kids down here, but Labour and a few of the other parties had a couple of visits but won't come back. Nobody else has taken the time to repeatedly visit us and see what real shitholes some of these buldings are after dark other than The Respect Party.

So they're ok for trying to help the folks of non English origin down here in E1. Very generous with their time, I've had several strategy meetings with those folks in their offices, good prep from them before speaking opps I've undertaken, excellent debrief afterwards, and all around lots of good insight into the UK political process. I realise that we're more than likely just pawns for some political machinations but those situations work both ways. If I can get rid of the old time East End racists down here and get these folks locking doors, regular cleaning and the other services they're paying for, well I don't really mind if there is some bigger battles going on that I'm unaware of. Seems like everyone uses everyone else in politics.

But I'm a banker and don't know much about politics. Except Respect is the only party that's really helping us.

I'm only here 'cause its cheap and I can walk to work in The City. it was a lot better when I bought my flat, and only started going downhill in 2006. It hasn't gotten as bad as The Lower East Side was in the early 80's and I hope it doesn't, 'cause while I rock n' roll my little Dutch wife doesn't.
posted by Mutant at 11:15 AM on March 23, 2009 [36 favorites]


True, North, Strong, and Free.

I'd be inclined to disagree with you, but, then again, a ranting, raving and apparent maniac like Galloway might feel lucky not to have landed in Canada:

The inquiry into the Taser-related death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport will resume Monday with testimony from the senior officer involved.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:22 AM on March 23, 2009


Why the outcry? Canada may be part of the Commonwealth but there's still an international border between Canada and the UK and Canada is within its rights to keep out anyone it wants. If the British are so upset about it they can take it up with the Ambassador or start locking out Canadian politicians. Considering that this guy generates fairly little affection within the UK, I doubt anyone will do anything. Canada's free speech laws apply to citizens and we owe this guy nothing.
posted by GuyZero at 11:36 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Folks: George Fucking Bush was your President six months ago. Dial it down, ok? Harper's a goon, thanks for the tip, but we've got this one.

To reiterate and clarify, in the style of Harper's Index (the magazine, I mean, not the probability model in a sweater-vest current occupying 24 Sussex):

% of American voters who chose Sarah Palin as their vice-president in 2008: 45.66
% of Canadian voters who chose Stephen Harper as their prime minster in 2008: 37.63

Think this Galloway thing smacks of all kinds of douchebaggery even if it can be barely justified within the letter of the law? Odds are at least 60 percent of Canadians agree with you. A once-in-a-generation corruption scandal, an inept Opposition Leader, an antiquated first-past-the-post electoral system and a splintered left has us stuck with a weak minority government that embarasses many of us Canucks enormously. We're probably a year or so from returning the polls in dissastisfaction with this situation.

I humbly submit that this is not in the same league as going off the rails.
posted by gompa at 11:57 AM on March 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Galloway used to be my MP. He's an eejit who never met a microphone he didn't like. Let him make an eejit of himself over here; it's certainly never stopped Harper doing so ...
posted by scruss at 12:21 PM on March 23, 2009


>Folks: George Fucking Bush was your President six months ago. Dial it down, ok? Harper's a goon, thanks for the tip, but we've got this one.

% of American voters who chose Sarah Palin as their vice-president in 2008: 45.66
% of Canadian voters who chose Stephen Harper as their prime minster in 2008: 37.63


This is true and all, and as naturalized Canadian I do enjoy the old America-bashing once in a while, but I don't recall many of my my fellow MeFi Canucks saying over the last few years "well Bush has only got a 25% approval rating right now, so I guess we shouldn't be so smug". No, we positively basked in the fact that our neighbours to the south had such a clown in office, and happily pointed to increased immigration rates of Americans fleeing north, and joined in the world chorus of "America has lost its way". If we were right then, any criticism we get for electing Harper is equally fair.

So, yeah, Harper only won with 38% of the vote, but he still won, and he and his government are still representing us on the world stage. Lets take our licks and the deserved criticism because we all know that the next time the US elects a nut from the right (which we all know will eventually happen, whether we like it or not) we'll happily laugh and giggle and suggest that right-thinking Americans come up here and enjoy our free health care, clean cities, and maybe get hitched to a samesex partner.

In essence, let's not be so smug. It's not becoming of us.

Oh and yeah, fuck the Harper govt and whoever they've staffed the immigration bureau with. Galloway's an annoying douche, but he's not a security threat to Canada.
posted by modernnomad at 1:10 PM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't believe nobody's pointed out the semblance to the Geert Wilders story yet, where a member of the Dutch Parliament was barred entry into the UK.

Brilliant comment, Mutant, thanks for the insight.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2009


NYT: Canada Bars ‘Infanduntimunctulious’ British Politician, Don King Reaches for Dictionary

Canada *drums on the floor* knock it off down there!
USA *pokes ceiling with broom* keep it down up there!
*band plays on*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2009


I'm not convinced that his barring was primarily due to the Conservative government. He was denied by the border security, and the government refused to overrule them. Now it's possible that there's been influence at the CBSA, it's often hard to tell. But I strongly believe that Kinney [Immigration Minister] did the right thing in refusing to overrule on political grounds. A non-political bureaucracy is important.


er........... i can't quite get my head around this post.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:21 PM on March 23, 2009


but anyway, just in case we get round to discussing gaza and israel and stuff can we please all heed astro zombies call not to post about it until the story is sympathetic to israel.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:23 PM on March 23, 2009


While it's clear that we all have different opinions on Galloway as well as the evil that is Canada, I think everyone can get behind the position that Mutant never fails in being a smart, interesting, and charming motherfucker.

You're shit is tight, yo.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 7:33 PM on March 23, 2009


but folks are fooling themselves if they think that Canada has free speech

Well, we still have North going for us.


I fail to see what this has to do with free speech or democracy or freedom in the abstract since (as others have mentioned) Galloway is not a Canadian citizen. But yes it's rather embarrassing. I have to agree with whoever said this looks like a petty political move on the part of the Conservatives--am I agreeing with Galloway?

I'd imagine politicians exert influence over who can and can't enter Canada all the time; I don't think we could call border security a non-political bureaucracy by any stretch (unless I'm missing the point). There was a recent incident involving barring Fred Phelps and his followers from attending the funeral of the poor kid who got murdered on the Greyhound bus in Manitoba:

Pat Martin, a New Democratic Party member of Parliament from Winnipeg, says he asked Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to send an alert to the border patrol to look out “for people with signs and pamphlets that fit the hateful messages that the church promotes and to keep them out of the country.”

I think the point may be that it's not an issue of "refusing to overrule" but of direction coming from politicians. That said, I can stand behind the move in relation to Phelps who appears to be trying really hard to incite violence, but I don't see why we should keep out some guy who merely proclaims different views from those of our government--even if he does sound like an idiot.
posted by Hoopo at 7:45 PM on March 23, 2009


Mutant: I can't speak to all of Galloway's politics, but can offer a single, highly subjective data point... Respect is doing lots for the cause I've reluctantly picked up down here in E1.

Yeah, I know the type. I'm sure he can be very helpful. We have one of those too.
posted by koeselitz at 8:12 PM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


The current government only had support from 38% of the country in the last election. Can we maybe not decide that the whole country are fascists because an immigration official did something?

No. We elected that mofo. We have to collectively bear the responsibility for it. I didn't vote for [spit] Harper, but I sure as heck am not going to deny that his jackassery is reflecting very badly on Canada.

But I do not see where any of our political parties is playing a role in this silliness. Harper didn't make the decision to ban Galloway: no politician did.

Not having Galloway in our country is not a big loss. It is only embarassing, and an indication that we've got to get around to dealing with some of our dumb laws/rules/guidelines.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on March 23, 2009


No, we positively basked in the fact that our neighbours to the south had such a clown in office, and happily pointed to increased immigration rates of Americans fleeing north, and joined in the world chorus of "America has lost its way".

"We"?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:46 PM on March 23, 2009


["but at least we aren't as bad as them" alert! castigate at will!]

The Galloway thing is dumb, but it can't hold a candle to this: S.Africa bans Dalai Lama from peace conference. Whu?!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 PM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Galloway thing is dumb, but it can't hold a candle to this: S.Africa bans Dalai Lama from peace conference. Whu?!

That might seem nuts on the surface, but it's obviously a measure to appease China, which is a major investor in South Africa.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:06 PM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe nobody's pointed out the semblance to the Geert Wilders story yet, where a member of the Dutch Parliament was barred entry into the UK.

Ahem.... Not that there was a link or anything, so thanks for that gnfti.

Those people suggesting that there's no issue because Galloway isn't a Canadian need to think about it a bit. Sure there's no legal issue (apart from the one that suggests the government is mis-applying the black letter law as quoted above), but there's an issue of human rights. Read some Mill* if you want to see why restricting other people's right to free speech is incompatible with a general right to free speech.

*Ok, that's actually a link to an analysis of Mill's On Liberty, but it's a good place to start.
posted by GeckoDundee at 12:29 AM on March 24, 2009


But I do not see where any of our political parties is playing a role in this silliness. Harper didn't make the decision to ban Galloway: no politician did.

He entered Canada two years ago. How could this have not been political?
posted by regicide is good for you at 11:31 AM on March 24, 2009


there's no legal issue (apart from the one that suggests the government is mis-applying the black letter law as quoted above), but there's an issue of human rights

Galloway hasn't been denied his right to free speech by Canada, he's been denied entry into the country for what appear to be really, really petty reasons. Anyone in Canada can access any remarks made by Galloway at any time as they are available, and while I don't often hear it, I doubt there would be any issue if a Canadian expressed the very same opinions. I'm not aware of any state censorship of Galloway either in the press or on the internet as demonstrated in this FPP by a number of links to Canadian websites and publications discussing the issue (including the lamentable fact that it's drawing a great deal of attention to him). It looks to me more like they're trying to score cheap points with their base through an incredibly misguided and ill-advised token gesture, and if anything it looks like this is going to be a legal issue when Galloway's supporters challenge the decision and try to get him in anyway.
posted by Hoopo at 2:07 PM on March 24, 2009


It is also possibly of interest that when the Canadian Islamic Congress made a Human Rights complaint against Maclean's magazine for perceived "Islamophobia", it was thrown out and Harper himself said: "Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society … It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff."

Where's that Harper when the tables are turned?
posted by Hoopo at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2009


He entered Canada two years ago. How could this have not been political?

Because permission to enter the country is up to the individual who's sitting behind the desk at the airport. One guy interpreted the law one way. This guy interpreted the law the other way. It's part of the mess that we're stuck with until we simplify and clarify our laws.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:30 PM on March 24, 2009


Ahem....

Apologies! I searched for "Wilders".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:20 PM on March 25, 2009


permission to enter the country is up to the individual who's sitting behind the desk at the airport

While technically true, I'm pretty sure a Member of Parliament would carry a special passport that identified him as such. I would also hope that a man in his position would have made some arrangements in advance, maybe even tried to schedule a meeting with some Canadian MPs or something. But I digress.

I wouldn't think the guy who's sitting behind the desk is going to stay employed long if he's in the habit of accusing foreign dignitaries and the MPs of our allies of being threats to our security and turning them away. Nor would I think their spokesman would verbally attack an MP of our ally without realizing the political and diplomatic repercussions such an action would have. It's basically inconceivable to me that this isn't a deliberate political gesture.
posted by Hoopo at 10:17 PM on March 25, 2009


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